US forces attacked yet again in Iraq

A rocket attack targeted US troops at Iraq’s Al-Asad Airbase on Wednesday, bringing the number of attacks on American forces in Iraq and Syria to 102 since Oct. 17.

Iraqi security forces went to the site and took the truck used to launch the attack, according to sources who spoke. The attack missed its target and there were no casualties or damage reported.

The US had avoided initially responding to attacks inside of Iraq due to an already frustrated Iraqi public sentiment towards Washington. But the US has since targeted Iran-backed militias inside Iraq and killed several fighters, officials have said.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to the Iraqi prime minister about Baghdad’s obligation to protect US diplomatic and military personnel in the country. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also held similar talks with the Iraqi premier to drive home a similar message.

Austin said the US had the right to act in self-defense against those who attacked the US and called out Iran-backed Kataeb Hezbollah and Harakat al-Nujaba for being behind most of the attacks.

A US official previously said that Washington was giving the Iraqi government a chance to rein in these militias. Baghdad’s security forces have arrested a handful of culprits. Still, the official said it appears unlikely that the Iraqi government will be able to put an end to these attacks on Americans in the country at the invitation of the Iraqi government.

In recent days, the top US military general for the Middle East had talks with the top US military general and Pentagon chief to discuss potential responses.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Gen. Erik Kurilla now has a list of different retaliatory attacks lined up and ready to be directed once the US president okays a response.

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